Background - Shabby Blogs

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finding contentment in singleness: big hearts are for breaking.

I love “love”. I love loving people. I love seeing people in love. Love makes me happy… to the point that I crave it. I crave relationships. I crave love. Now, psychiatrists would say, “Oh, you must have had absent parents so you try to fill that craving for love from guys.” This, my friends, is a HUGE misinterpretation. My parents – my family – have always been there for me and loved me with every morsel of their soul. You see, I’m just a romantic. It’s as simple as that. And that’s OK. It’s actually caused a lot of heartache, but it’s still OK.  There’s never really been a season in my life where I’ve been content with being single… until now.

I have spent my life pouring my talents, gifts and heart into guys who are quick to receive them but fail in returning any of their hearts or talents back into me. This probably sounds tremendously selfish, but it’s not. In relationships, when I break up with a guy, it’s because I feel like he has stopped caring. That’s been the only reason for any of my break-ups. I have painted so many pictures for male friends (also known to me as ‘prospects’). I’ve made them cards. I’ve done sketches of things that I know are special to them. I've made endless mixed CD's for them. Honestly, I feel like that’s all been wasted time and heart. Maybe they treasure the things I’ve made for them – but how silly is it of me to have already given away so much of myself to guys who won’t be the man that I spend the rest of my life with? I hadn’t even made my best girl friends paintings until I had found that I was completely content in this season of singleness.

By the way, this is the painting I did for Laura – it’s lyrics from a Jack’s Mannequin song, American Love. We went to the concert together and honestly, I think that was one of the highlights of our awesome friendship. I remember her yelling these lyrics at the top of her lungs… because our hearts are big. And they’ve been broken. And that’s OK. Obviously, a guy won’t ever be able to heal that brokenness, only the Savior can… but at the same time, I know we will meet men who won’t break them in a way past boyfriends have.

Please know that I have no desire to get married anytime soon. I'm not in any rush. Just to clear the water on that one if you were getting a different impression. In fact, I’ve decided to soak and revel in my time of singleness. Learn from it and write about it. There are days when it’s incredibly rough – like when you hear about so many people around you getting married and engaged… all at one time. Oh, and springtime – totally my season for love. But then I realize how much time I have to enjoy complete independence. Granted, I will still consider myself to be strong and independent when I get married. I think that’s one characteristic that my husband will find attractive about me – that I love him and need him but won’t be completely and utterly dependent upon him, that I can still be my own person. I mean, I hope he’ll find it attractive, because that’s how I’m going to be. But I will also be madly in love with him, and that will be all he needs to know. Through a new goal of creating things only for my girl friends, family and maybe customers soon, I will truly be saving my best for my husband. How cool is that? As content as I am, the wait is getting tougher, just because I have so much love to pour into him. There are so many things I want to share with him… but I will spend this time progressing in my talents and making him things during the wait. Plus, this will be my time to grow by myself before we can grow together. He’s the only one who will truly receive all of me – not just physically, but with everything – and that’s awesome. 


And I wanted to end the post on this. Because my great-grandmother (yes, I am fortunate enough to still have all of my grandparents alive, as well as a great-grandparent... and she's actually a great-great-grandmother) is the coolest. She fell the other day and broke her leg, but no worries. She's still awesome. She loves getting cards so this one will be on its way in a day or so. I love her. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

A story about a girl whose faith has been shaken...

“God is relentless in His pursuit of you.”

If you haven’t been able to tell from my posts, I’ve been in a massive funk over the past few months and I feel like it’s time to tell you why. Maybe it will help someone else who’s dealing with the same issues or maybe it will stick with someone in the case of future need. Most of all, I just want to share with you what’s going on so you can see the coolness of God.

In November, I ran for the position of Panhellenic President (president over all of the sororities). It wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do, but it was a place I felt strongly called to. God and me have a pretty tight bond, I think. I could normally tell when He was speaking to me or speaking through me – and I felt like more than ever, He had called me to serving there. For five months, my compassion towards sorority girls grew uncontrollably. I wanted to pour love into them constantly, shower them with the same grace God has showered on me. That was my sole purpose for running. Well, the results were the closest it’s been in years and I lost. For about two months after elections, everything was great. I trusted the Lord and told Him that His desire was for me to pour compassion and love on the girls but I had missed the whole point – I didn’t need a title to accomplish that. So I turned to my sorority and have been developing stronger relationships with the girls in that community instead… this is the first time since I joined that I haven’t held a position, yet I’ve gotten to know the girls on a more intense level than ever.

The root of the problem was not that I didn’t get the position, rather I questioned if I truly heard from God. Was He telling me to run or was it my own selfish desires to run for such a prominent position and I was mistaking that for His voice? I try to tell people that and they don’t get it. There were so many times that I wanted to back out. I didn’t want the responsibility; I didn’t feel I was capable. Then I felt like God was saying, “Hey, it’s cool, Whit. I’m right here. Just go for it. You have my strength.” Once again, was I still mistaking my conscience for His voice? So I began questioning prayer. Not God’s existence or sovereignty, but prayer and receiving God’s words – not Word, but words. So I challenged Him. Dumb, I know. Honestly though, I think it’s OK to challenge God. Even when nobody else gets it, He gets it. (Which this was another confusing thing for me. How can God relate to us not understanding things when He knows all? He’s never had the problem of not understanding. I still haven’t figured that out – but I’m OK with that now.) I told God that I didn’t want answers from scripture or from other people – but from His voice, and His voice alone. Even though I offered that challenge to Him, I still ran to others for answers. All I got was, “Well, just know He loves you and you are His child,” or “It was your pride,” or “Just give it time, it will all work itself out.” Those are all great answers but that had nothing to do with my question. Was it my conscience speaking or was it God? Up until a couple of days ago, nobody truly understood the issue until Chris Lock, Laura and I were talking at Cambridge.

Chris is filled with wisdom: With trying to get answers, all you’re trying to do is satisfy that need for relationship. Until you’re fine with not having the answers, God won’t typically give you the responsibility of having them. Without answers, you have no choice but to trust.

When I asked Him if he thought it was my conscience or God, he said, “Well, there have been plenty of times where I thought I heard from God and I was completely off. And that’s OK. I have scars from my face because I have fallen so much but you just gotta keep going and keep loving.” So I think that’s my answer. Maybe it was pride… but maybe it was that I thought I heard from God… and either it wasn’t Him at all… or maybe it was Him but I had mistaken the idea for running as President for just pouring love out on the women of Greek Life.

You know, I never thought I would be the one whose faith was shaken by such a small issue. I hate that. At the same time though, it’s been awesome. I’ve learned so much about myself along the ride and I’ve learned that it’s OK when we get it wrong… as long as we keep moving forward and love people unconditionally along the way. Regardless, I don’t need answers anymore. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).” I always thought I understood this verse until Chris talked it out with me. I’ve never had that peace because I’ve always wanted to understand. So for those of you that have been worried about me, just know that it’s OK. I’m just in the process of learning to not understand and how to be OK with that.


PS: Another thing I’m learning is that when I read the Bible, I really have to stop thinking about where we get it wrong as Christians and how denominations have destroyed the original message. Instead, I’m learning to read it… just as God wrote it to me. It’s a lot more powerful that way and I’ve been able to stop judging this “religion” so harshly and look at it as Christ would want me to – between Him and me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm a terrible blogger...

Hi Everyone! 
I'm sorry I'm such a terrible blogger and can't seem to write more often! School has been keeping me incredibly busy but I've definitely had some fun too!! Last weekend, Chris Freeze came to Auburn. It's been 4 years since the last time we've physically seen each other. We met at a journalism convention in South Carolina and have kept in touch ever since... through phone and video chat. He lives in Myrtle Beach and just decided to come down Valentine's Day weekend! Luckily, I had a Crush Party social the night he came into town so it was a pleasure having him as my date. It made me so happy - he wore the matching felt heart pin I made him! When I say he wore it, I mean he wore it with pride. He then wore it on Valentine's Day and made sure to take it home with him back to SC. Of course, Laura came too!! 

I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but Chris absolutely spoiled me the entire weekend. It's weird, you know - to experience how a guy should treat you and know that it's right. We joked around and said he was my boyfriend for 3 days. He even bought me a birthday present but left it at home (I can't help but believe him)... so he insisted on buying me this rockin' awesome umbrella I saw at Target. I fell in love with it. I went to buy it but he wouldn't let me. 

so we took pictures in the Winn-Dixie parking lot with the clear umbrella and our fantastic sunglasses.... at night. :)

These are a few snapshots from our photo booth session. 

One of the best parts? He serenaded me practically all weekend! He's a great guitarist! He even took me to the guitar shop to get mine repaired, cleaned up, and got new guitar strings. Elixirs. He learned a couple of my favorite songs that I sing and we jammed together for a while. Unfortunately, I was sick; therefore the voice was struggling. We still had fun. 


So my friend, Kevin, who I call "Texas" to everyone but him sent me a pair of Vans... It's kind of been a 2-year process so I was pumped when he sent them!! The deal was if he finally got me the Vans, then I would paint him a picture... This was it. It was pretty big. Also expensive to ship - but I think it was worth it. It portrays one of his favorite songs - Deathbed by Relient K - which is a story of redemption. I put a picture of Texas on there ... I'm not sure if he's down with that, but I thought it was cool. Currently, it's hanging in his apartment I think. 



This is one of my great friends/co-workers, John. He's awesome. We took these pictures one night when business was slow so I thought I'd share them with you. He's such a model.


Finally, this is Laura and me. She's the coolest. Her and Courtney are my two closest friends in Auburn and I don't know how I would make it without them. When I was going through my rough time, Laura called me and took me to go get my nails done (it's great being a girl) - and she made me a "Whitney's Be OK cd." She's so cool and I'm so thankful for her. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It was my 21st. I was the only sober one. I remember every second of it - and for that, I am thankful.

Hi friends!

On February 5, I celebrated 21 years of an abundant and blessed life. This was the most special birthday I have ever had. I woke up to a morning of blueberry cheesecake muffins {made by Courtney (I always make muffins for the both of us in the mornings so this was a special treat for me)} as well as tons of yellow notecards saying what I mean to her. “Creative, saved, loved, righteous, genuine, refined, HIS, abounding in grace….”  She also bought me more muffin mix for the future muffin mornings we will have together. 

Hannah, another roommate, gave me a gift card to Hobby Lobby for $25 and a cute hat in the afternoon. I was surprised by a phone call from my friend Riley who took me out for lunch and greeted me with this birthday gift...
Yep, my first beer. I looked at him and said, "Riley, you know I don't drink!" He just laughed and said, "Well, I know but at least you can legally have it in your hands." Since I had class right after lunch, I was forced to carry it around in my purse (fortunately I carry a large purse so I could hide it) through 2 classes. I have no clue what to do with it now.

After my class was let out at 5, Courtney and Laura picked me up and took me to my favorite place... Olive Garden. I love pasta. It's unhealthy how much I love pasta, actually. They made a poster that had my closest friends on it write the things that make me special to them, had a balloon floating from the table and then came the gifts. Laura gave me an AWESOME yellow, vintage wallet and Keri Anne gave me another cute hat! Dinner was filled with nonstop laughter and incredible food (and dessert).

Courtney, Laura and I went to Party City after that to get my accessories for my "night out". A pink boa and feathered tiara. I realized how much I still love to dress up... something that still lingers from childhood and I love it.

So my friends from Cambridge Coffee and I all went to a new dance club in Auburn called PULSE. It was sooo cool. The floor lit up with different colors and there was a disco ball. I had the time of my life. I was the one of three people not drinking and I was still the first one on the dance floor. We danced the night away - 4 hours straight to be exact. It was my 21st birthday. I was the only truly sober one. I remember every moment, and for that I am thankful. Not too many people can brag about that. 

It didn't stop there though. The night ended but over the weekend, I went home and the birthday just kept getting better. There was a delicious caramel cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory waiting on the kitchen table. Mom cooked a new spicy mac & cheese recipe and they all gave me my gifts. Chase gave me an awesome Dr. Seuss card, some delicious tea from Teavana and an iTunes gift card (dad gave me one in the mail so I'll be taken care of for a few weeks music wise)! Mom gave me never-ending art supplies!! I can't wait to start working with them. We didn’t get to spend much time crafting this week, but it’s time for her treatment so I’m excited about when we’ll have the chance to soon enough!

One of the most special gifts though was from my dad... “A Journal of Butterfly Kisses” The first half of the book is filled with reflections and encouragement from my dad and the second half is left for me to fill up about him. I started crying when I was reading it. I am so thankful for such amazing parents… especially a dad who had tea parties with me, videotaped my magic shows, and still takes me on daddy-daughter dates. I couldn’t stop writing last night when I was filling in my part about him. One of my favorite parts was, “The color that best describes your personality is the hot pink of a sunrise and the deep blue of a clear sky because you are both vibrant and calm at the same time. You have a quiet truth about you.” He’s so poetic! To have my dad say that about me lets me know that I am still on the right path to becoming the woman I strive to become. There are so many parts of the book I would love to share with everyone, but I guess it’s a daddy-daughter thing. Most would never understand just how special our times together are. The page I started crying was, “One thing I hope you will always remember me for is ‘loving you’.” As long as I live, I will never forget that. My dad is my superhero and will forever be.